The Road To Success

By Sean O’Shea

When it comes to working with our dog’s behavior issues, we are often told we simply need to “be” calm, assertive, relaxed, and confident. That that state of mind will change our dogs and us.

Honestly, I think it works in reverse. A calm, confident, relaxed, and assertive attitude/mindset is the natural byproduct of having tools, strategies, and mechanics in place that work.

When things work, it’s easy to step into a different mindset.

Yes we can decide/cultivate/manifest/manufacture some degree of determination, relaxation and confidence when working with our dog’s problem behavior as a baseline starting point – and that’s a great mindset to start with – but the real stuff, the stuff that is palpable, that changes the way your dog feels about you and your relationship – and hence changes your dog’s behavior – comes about through the confidence we get when we know what we’re doing works. When we use tools and strategies that leverage our abilities, that allow us to feel in control of our dogs and ourselves, we begin to truly transform. (This is one of the many reasons we utilize prong collars and e-collars in all our work; because they help everyday people to be far more successful, even with serious problem behaviors)

Great training doesn’t make it harder for owners and dogs to succeed. Great training makes it easier. Great training empowers everyday people, people who don’t live 24/7 in dog world, people who aren’t dog trainers, people who very likely don’t have 8 hours to devote every day to dog training, to be successful.

Real confidence comes not from the ether, not from attempting to manufacture that which doesn’t yet exist, it comes from success.


Visit our website at –

For more dog training tips, info, and for help with questions or issues, connect with me on Facebook (The Good Dog Training And Rehabilitation) and YouTube (TheGoodDogTraining)

  1. Sally said:

    ….great read. Can’t wait for the DVD. Have ?????’s I need answers too. Love the work you all do at The Good Dog!

    • oshandy said:

      Hey Sally,mutha is SO much for the kind words! The DVDs are in the works big time! Really working on creating simple, easy to implement, but super helpful stuff. 🙂

  2. Great information…..absolutely agree, to some degree it’s like working out at the gym & not seeing results – sometimes that help from a trainer moves you in a different direction with results.

    • oshandy said:

      Hey G, that’s very true. I think that nothing creates confidence like results. 🙂

  3. Candice said:

    That last sentence says it all – and applies to life in so many ways. Your training videos exude your philosophy – and certainly show the results! So fun and fascinating to watch the progress of your clients, both two- and four-legged ;-D

    • oshandy said:

      Hey Candice! Thanks so much for stopping by. I’m really trying to empower people to be successful with their dogs (and life too if that happens!). I feel there’s some pretty powerful messages out there that are saying be calm and assertive and everything will fall into place. What we’ve seen over and over again is that if you will empower people (even folks that are super soft and unsure) with the skills and tools to be successful, they will become calm assertive, or relaxed and confident. I’m all about starting by creating the mindset you want and seeing the end result in your mind first, but without the rest of the equation you end up struggling and frustrated. Thanks again for taking the time to comment.

  4. Dave said:

    When trying to work with my dog, I always start out as clam, assertive, relaxed etc. When he starts to get anxious around other dogs, I can remain calm for a while, but often my anxiety eventually kicks in. It’s getting much better, I continue to value your advice and encouragement.

    • oshandy said:

      Hey Dave, managing ourselves as we work through training our dogs is challenging for all of us. My suggestion is to set a clear intention/mental picture before beginning to work with your dog. In that visualization you want to clearly see yourself behaving and responding in your hugest fashion – calm, relaxed, confident, unflappable – regardless of what might occur. Practice this enough and you will absolutely begin to see changes in your responses and your ability to sustain a calm state even when things get challenging. With my dogs, it took me quite a while before I could walk them around other dogs and not feel that pang of anxiety/fear. But I went after it, practiced consistently, replaced the old experiences with new healthy ones, and eventually we were in a totally different zone together the more success you see the more relaxed and confident you’ll become. So be sure to move at a pace (keep the challenges manageable) that sets the stage for you and your dog’s success. Honestly, if you set a firm enough intention or goal, it may take a while, but there’s virtually nothing that can stop you from creating what you want. 🙂

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